Management Theory of Max Weber Basics

How to master the fundamentals of the management theory of Max Weber

The management theory of Max Weber comes out of the larger theories of scientific organizational management, which began to emerge around the turn of the century. The intersection of the philosophies of Max Weber and the management theory of Frederick Taylor occurred between 1930 and 1950, corresponding with Weber's development of his theory of bureaucracy.

Max Weber theory and philosophy is largely focused on the idea of bureaucracy as an efficient method for organizing and prioritizing the routine tasks of business. Using a Max Weber theory of management, however, means balancing the benefits and costs of bureaucracy, not just embracing bureaucracy wholesale.

When mastering the management theory of Max Weber basics, be sure you understand how to do the following:

1. Contextualize Max Weber within scientific management theory;

2. Consult the primary documents on Max Weber and management;

3. Synthesize usable information on Max Weber management theory.

Understand Max Weber management theory within historical contexts

The Max Weber management theory of bureaucracy grew out of the wider context of scientific management theory as developed by Frederick Taylor. Scientific management theory and its theoretical subcategories focus on the use of organized, highly standardized specific tasks geared toward maximizing efficiency.

Gather information about the Max Weber theory of management from primary sources

Many of the documents written by Max Weber on management and other topics are available for public access online. When preparing to use the management theory of Max Weber, consult these documents to get an authentic understanding of Max Weber management theories and how you can apply them to your workplace.
Rogers State University has a page with links to Weber's writings on sociology, capitalism and bureaucracy, many of which directly inform his larger theory of management. The Economics Department of The New School provides useful resources on the management theory of Max Weber, by Weber and others, including some hyperlinks to other useful web sources.

Get tips and hints for understanding Max Weber management theory

Understanding the basics of the management theory of Max Weber as outlined by Weber's original writings can be difficult, since translating theories across history is a complex undertaking. Consulting some sources that offer a simple breakdown of Weber's principles and tips for understanding Weber can be helpful, especially before you take action to institute Weber's theory.
"What is Bureaucracy?" by Kun Wang, offers a chart of strengths and weaknesses of bureaucracy as defined by Weber, which can help you implement an effective bureaucratic structure in your own business. 12manage also offers information on Max Weber management theory as it relates to charismatic leadership, which you may find useful if you're planning a major change in management philosophy.
  • Consider the cautions offered by the management theory of Max Weber about the dehumanizing effects of bureaucracy. Inform your employees about management changes and make sure they're on board with structural shifts in how your business is run to maintain healthy human relationships in the workplace while improving the efficiency of routine tasks.